NOW Made the Fathers Count Act into a Gender Issue

Article excerpt

Repeated assertions by National Organization for Women (NOW) President Patricia Ireland and Executive Vice President Kim Gandy that NOW's opposition to the Fathers Count Act of 1999 is not an issue of gender, beg credulity ("NOW's position on House bill needs clarification," Mrs. Ireland, Letters, Nov. 26, and "Don't count on `Fathers Count' bill to save families, NOW says," Miss Gandy, Letters, Nov. 29).

NOW's Web site, to which Miss Gandy has directed our attention, points out, verbatim, NOW's views of "Why this bill is bad for women." It will:

"1) promote marriage through counseling, mentoring, disseminating information about the advantages of marriage, enhancing relationship skills, teaching how to control aggressive behavior, and other methods:

"2) promote successful parenting through counseling, mentoring, disseminating information about good parenting practices, training parents in money management, encouraging child support payments, encouraging regular visitation between fathers and their children, and other methods; and

"3) help fathers and their families avoid or leave cash welfare . . . And improve their economic status by providing work first services, job search, job training, subsidized employment, career-advancing education, job retention, job enhancement and other methods."

The title alone, "Why this bill is bad for women," not society, families or children, shows that this is only an issue of gender to NOW. …